Exxon’s Profit Report

Kevin Drum watches the stock price of Exxon decline even though they reported $8 billion in quarterly profits. CNN’s American Morning was on the story explaining the decline in the stock price by noting that analysts had expected $9.2 billion (not trillion). At one point – Andy Serwer hinted that the difference between reported earnings and what the analysts were expecting might be due to some accounting gimmicks:

SERWER: Or just a dollar. Just enough.

First of all, Soledad, I want to report on Exxon’s profits. We’ve been mentioning that this morning. Just crossing the tape – $8.4 billion in the first quarter. And what’s interesting to me is that Wall Street was expecting $9.2 billion. They reported a lot less. And you wonder, you know, what have…

S. O’BRIEN: Where is the other…

SERWER: Yes. I mean was some stuff…

S. O’BRIEN: … .8?

SERWER: … sort of put aside? They’re not supposed to do that. It’s very illegal.

M. O’BRIEN: Yes.

SERWER: Of course, Exxon wouldn’t do that. But it’s funny that there was that much of a difference.

Given all the political fuss over oil profits – oh, never mind! Andy stopped sort of making such an accusation, so I’ll do the same.